The Rostelecom Cup opened Friday in Moscow, Russia with the Short Programs and the Short Dance. Rostelecom Cup is the fourth of six events in the 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.
Gracie Gold (USA) leads after Ladies Short Program
Gracie Gold (USA) leads after the Ladies Short Program. Finland's Kiira Korpi came second ahead of Agnes Zawadzki (USA).
Skating to Hernando's Hideaway, Gold nailed a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Lutz and picked up a level four for the three spins. The World Junior silver medalist posted a new seasons best of 62.16 points. I am happy with the way I skated and I did like the score. So I'm proud of myself and I hope to continue the same in the long program tomorrow, the 17-year-old said. Skate Canada was my first Grand Prix ever and only my third international competition really and I got very nervous and I put a lot of pressure on myself and I wasn't able to skate like in the practices. But here I just remembered to take a deep breath and do the program just like in practice, she added.
Korpi downgraded her opening combination to a triple toe-double toe but went on to complete a triple loop, double Axel and earned a level four for two spins and her footwork to score 61.55 points. I was not a 100 percent and I am disappointed not to do my (triple-triple) combination. Otherwise my performance was solid, the European silver medalist said.
Zawadzki's program to Sex and the City included a triple Lutz, triple toe-triple toe and a level-four layback spin. The American skater earned 60.18 points. I was very happy with my performance today and the way I presented myself. It's my first Grand Prix (of the season). I love this arena. It's my third time here and I just love to walk in and see all the colours, the American shared.
World silver medalist Alena Leonova (RUS) sits in fourth at 58.85 points after omitting the double Axel, followed by Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) in fifth with 57.11 points.
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) take Pairs Short Program
Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov took the Pairs Short Program ahead of teammates Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov. Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA) came third.
Volosozhar/Trankov produced a level-four triple twist, a side by side triple Salchow, difficult lift, footwork and side by side spin in their routine to The Godfather. The World silver medalists set a new personal best for themselves with 74.74 points. This was the best performance of our three competitions this season, but we still can skate better than that, Trankov commented. We are especially happy that we got a level four for our twist for the first time. We skated with expression and created a new image, he added.
Bazarova/Larionov's performance to Liebestraum was highlighted by a triple twist, throw triple loop and lift with changes of position. However, Larionov's triple toe was shaky. The European silver medalists picked up 66.02 points. We took a long time to focus, because we really wanted to skate well. I made a little mistake on the jump, but I tried to put it behind me and to move on, Larionov told the press.
Denney/Coughlin completed a triple twist, side by side triple toe and throw triple flip to earn 59.02 points. We are always excited to skate in Russia, especially as the homecountry of the upcoming Olympics, Coughlin stated. We're excited to be in third place in such a strong field and look forward to skate an even better free skate, he continued.
Paige Lawrence/Rudi Swiegers (CAN) finished fourth at 51.86 points and Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) placed fifth (50.90 points).
Patrick Chan (CAN) wins Men's Short Program
Patrick Chan of Canada won the Men's Short Program. Russia's Konstantin Menshov edged out Takahiko Kozuka of Japan for second place.
Chan opened his routine to an Elegy by Sergei Rachmaninov with a quad toe-single toe combination but rallied back to hit a triple Axel, triple Lutz and a level-four flying sit spin. The two-time World Champion scored 85.44 points, a new seasons best. I always feel shaky after waiting, skating last. I got on the ice, got ready for the quad. I felt kind of off-balance, a combination of being nervous, excited and anxious. When I did the quad I was so surprised I did it so I just did a single toe. But I'm very happy with the triple Axel. The footwork and spins felt very comfortable, the Candian commented.
Menshov's program to the Pina soundtrack included a triple Axel, quadruple-triple toeloop combination and a triple Lutz. The 2011 Russian Champion set a new seasons best with 76.73 points. I am glad that I did all my jumps, especially the triple Lutz as in three (previous) competitions this season I missed it and did a double Lutz. I am not very pleased with my step sequence, though. I grew tired and I only could think of how hard it will be to skate tomorrow, the 29-year-old told the press.
Skating to Exodus Symphony, Kozuka produced a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination but two-footed and underrotated his quad toe and also stumbled on his triple Axel to earn 76.34 points. Today I made many small mistakes, therefore I got this score. I want to fix some things for tomorrow and I hope to skate perfect free program, the 2011 World silver medalist said.
Zhan Bush (RUS) finished fourth at 74.50 points and Artur Gachinski (RUS) is currently ranked fifth with 74.07 points. Michal Brezina (CZE) rounds up the top six at 73.83 points.
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) dance to the lead
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to the lead in the Short Dance. Russia's Elena Ilinykh/ Nikita Katsalapov and Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin follow in second and third.
Virtue/Moir put out a confident Waltz and Polka to The Waltz Goes On by Anthony Hopkins. The World and Olympic Champions got a level four for the twizzles and the rotational lift while the side by side footwork and the second Polka pattern garnered a level three. The Canadian Champions achieved a new seasons best with 70.65 points. We wanted to improve on our start at Skate Canada International two weeks ago and I think we did a really good job with that. We had good connection on the ice and it was strong, just like we've done in training. We're trying to maximize our points and getting the most out of the technical side of our skating between here and Sochi. We felt like we did a really strong program, Moir explained.
Ilinykh/Katsalapov had opted for an Uzbek Polka and produced level-four twizzles and lift. Their side by side circular step sequence and the second Polka pattern merited a level three. The European bronze medalists earned 65.70 points. This is our first Grand Prix (this season) and we are happy to finally compete. It is nice to compete in our home country and we got many positive emotions from our skate. Our score, however, proves that there are still things left to work on, Ilinykh noted.
Sinitsina/Zhiganshin turned in a technically solid performance to the Tennessee Waltz and a Country Polka, picking up a level four for the lift, twizzles and first part of the Yankee Polka. With 60.85 points, the World Junior Champions surpassed their score from the Cup of China last week by almost ten points. We are very surprised with this result. It was obviously much better than in China. The support of the audience was great and really helped us. Hopefully tomorrow we'll skate even better, Zhiganshin said.
Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) came fourth at 58.26 points followed by Ksenia Monko/ Kirill Khaliavin (RUS) with 55.81 points.
For full results please refer to Results.
The competition at Rostelecom Cup concludes Saturday with the Ladies, Pairs Free Skating, Men's Free Skating and Free Dance.